Pulis mending 'broken hearts'

15 January 2013 07:58
Stoke boss Tony Pulis admits he has had some "broken hearts" to deal with ahead of the FA Cup clash with Crystal Palace.

The Staffordshire outfit's long unbeaten run at home in the Premier League - which had stretched back to February - came to an end in emphatic style on Saturday as they crashed to a 4-0 defeat to Chelsea, their heaviest loss at the Britannia Stadium since their promotion to the top flight in 2008. That has left some understandable despondency among the players for Pulis to address ahead of Tuesday night's FA Cup third-round replay at home against Crystal Palace, and he is determined to get his men geared up again for a competition in which Stoke were runners-up in 2011 and quarter-finalists last term.

"There's one or two broken hearts in the dressing room and we'll have to have a look at those and then take it from there," Pulis said.

"We want to do well in the FA Cup. We've only lost two in 12 in the cup and we want to keep that run going."

A Stoke player who had a particularly miserable time of it on Saturday was Jon Walters, who headed in two own goals and missed a penalty. Potters goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has no doubt the forward is strong enough to bounce back from that, and would not be surprised to see Walters make an immediate return to form by getting on the scoresheet against npower Championship side Palace.

"I don't think anybody will worry about Jon Walters," Begovic - who is likely to be rested - said.

"His character and personality won't be affected by anything that happens to him.

"He is a big enough character to bounce back and I am sure he will probably score a goal on Tuesday." Pulis is planning to make a number of adjustments to his starting XI for this evening's encounter, with Thomas Sorensen, a regular for Stoke in cup competition, looking set to come in for Begovic once again. Striker Michael Owen will be hoping to be back involved after starting the original tie - a goalless draw at Selhurst Park on January 5 - but then missing out on a place in the squad for the Chelsea game.

"There will definitely be a few changes to the team," Pulis told Stoke City Player.

"One or two of the lads who weren't involved in the game against Chelsea will come in to the side.

"It's important for them to get some playing time, but we will also show respect to Crystal Palace by naming a strong side.

"We want to progress in the competition."

Source: team_talk

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